Thursday, June 4, 2015

I'm back and I've been busy - L

I wrote a nice post right before I left for Paris and Morroco.  I never published it.  Just plain forgot.  When I got back I had a full plate of costumes for the local kids improv group and cosplay for me and my son plus an assist with my daughter's costume.  Been going all out since the day after I got back. Jet lag and all.    Cosplay does amazing things to your hands!

Young Actors Worshop
This year I tried to scale back expectations and thought I only had 6 or 7 costumes to make.  It turned into 18.  The kids are encouraged to be creative and always toss me a challenge.  Here are some of the fun

Two boys wanted to be churros.  Their super-power?  Lick them and you have 5 minutes of super sugar energy.  They beat the evil psychic spy because she couldn't read their minds.  They don't have brains.

There was also an evil alien and and evil sunflower.  I have no idea why.

And reincarnation girl.  She wanted a victorian dress with Egyptian jewelry.

And a kid with his own owl costume that hadn't actually fit him in years.  I cut it horizontally below the zipper and added a 6 inch panel.  Then I cut it open on each side and added a 4 inch panel on each side.  The panels were muslin.  The rest of the costume was fun fur.  A little splatter with spray paint and you could hardly tell (from stage, anyway).  I wasn't even sure it would work.  I didn't get any pictures because i did it all the night before dress rehearsal when the kid told me about his problem (the ole' 'I can't actually fit in my costume' excuse)

My dining room table was a pile of animal costumes, kilts, superhero logos, robes, and I can't even remember anymore.

This is my last year working for them,  Next year I will be a stitcher for another theater group and get paid.  Paid poorly, but paid.  And no more dealing with parents.  Huzzah.

Then there was cosplay.  This year we decided to all dress from Naruto.  It's like the gateway drug of anime.  Very comfortable.  This is an important thing.  We also reprised Attack on Titan because my son loves getting flattered by 'older' women (20 year olds).

All the Jiriaya and Tsunade clothes were based on traditional Japanese clothing which is mostly rectangles.  I used the picture of a traditional haori as my inspiration.  Kakashi was a t-shirt and leggings with ivory knit tacked over for the design.  The bardes part was the wigs, with my son's shoes being the second hardest.  They are boots with no toes.  Also his legging wraps aren't wrapped.  They are pleated fabric made into leggings.  In Naruto, many characters have wide mesh on parts of their costumes.  I couldn't find the fabric so I had to buy wide mesh stockings and cut them apart,  That was very much NOT fun.

Mine is the Kakashi kneeling center front.

Arm bands - craft foam and scrapbooking brads on knit fabric, spray painted elastic at wrist

Cosplay hair.  Bane of my existence.

And finally, mesh over tights for leggings.  Had to do this for my arms, legs and chest.

And some really bad reference pictures that I ripped off the internet.                                                                                                                                                                                                       So now I'm back working on my 18th century court dress and the Lowell Mill Dress.  No spray paint or hot glue required.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

HSF/HSM April and May challenges all together - L

The April challenge was War and Peace.  I was going to just skip it since I ways traveling for most of the month but I really wanted to do each challenge, even if I was late.  The very first thing that came to mind was socks.  How often in novels have I read of women knitting socks for 'the men'.  Specifically, I was thinking about the Civil Way, WW1 and WW2.  And, of course, I knew I wouldn't be able to do anything big or complicated because of travel and other costuming commitments.  I'd never knit toe-up socks so I chose that.  This would give me a chance to make the leg part as tall as my yarn allowed.  Of course I screwed them up.  Sort of.  I didn't watch the video tutorial about casting on that came with the pattern.  So I didn't do the proper closed toe cast on.  I ended up just sewing them closed.  I knit them in a week, though I wasn't actually knitting every waking moment.  Partly because of....

The May challenge was practicality. I didn't think I'd get it done.  I figured the socks were practical and would have to make do.  But I also really wanted to try a drawn thread hem (is that the right description?) for a handkerchief.  I love the look of drawn and pulled thread embroidery and want to use it in an early 20th century summer dress someday.  But I clearly didn't have time for a project that complex with a week left in May.  Plus, I figured I should start on something small.  A simple 14 inch square handkerchief seemed perfect.  I pulled out 4 threads on each side.  Each about 1/2 inch from the edge.  Then I folded the hem twice and pressed it a LOT.  Then it's simple but time consuming.  Pull the thread thru the hem edge, wrap it thru around 4 threads at least twice.  Put the thread thru about 4 threads of the hem edge and repeat.  I was a little sloppy.  Even though it isn't complicated it is incredibly fussy.

Next month is 'Outside your comfort zone'.  So looks like it's time to get back to my 18th century masquerade court gown.  Long overdue.